2018 Canada Trip travel blog

Our Saint John guide, Claire

Reversing Falls

Carleton Montello Tower

Walking the Old Loyalists Burial Grounds

Beaver monument

Saint John Farmers Market

St Andrews Blockhouse

Our room at the Algonquin

Ghost walk

Today our breakfast was at 7:30 in the ballroom in the hotel. They had set up tables with eight chairs. We sat with Jim & Kathleen from Canton, Michigan and had the usual buffet breakfast.

We are traveling today, but not until 1:30. So, we had the hotel room until 1:00. We had to have bags out by 8:30 and be on the bus for our city/walking tour at 9:15.

Our local guide, Claire, talked about the history of the city and the local murder of the CEO of Moosehead Beer by his son six years ago at the Red Rose Building. The trial is still ongoing.

At the Reversing Falls (now called Reversing Rapids), we disembarked to use the over look. It was high tide (as demonstrated by the choreography by our crazy guide, Kim and Bob the bus driver), so the river was flowing upstream and the ducks in the water were having a grand time riding the flow backwards. While at the falls (rapids), Jean met a couple from Springfield, NJ with whom we talked for a few minutes.

Back on the bus to our next view, Claire talked about the creation stories of the Maliseet and Mi'kmaq First Nations about the Bay of Fundy. Our view was a drive by of the Carleton Martello Tower in the fog. It is currently closed for renovations. The towers were built along the border before the War of 1812 because Canada was afraid of an American invasion. There were small skirmishes, but no invasion. The martello towers usually housed one officer and 25 soldiers. In WWI it was used as a jail, and in WWII they added to the top of the tower for a better view of the bay looking for U-boats.

After the Revolutionary War, those that had remained loyal (Loyalists) to the crown were welcomed and given land on which to settle in Canada. Many settled in New Brunswick, especially St. John and St. Andrews which we visit later today.

We then drove around the city until we reached the Old Loyalist Burial Grounds, where we disembarked for our walking tour down the hilly streets down to the harbor area. We walked through the burial grounds to the beaver fountain, over to Kings Square to see the King Edward VII Memorial Bandstand, and into the Saint John City Market which had produce, gifts, little restaurants, etc. Out the other end of the market, we stopped where Claire gave out dulse (dried red seaweed/kelp from Fundy Bay) for us to taste. I remember when we used to go through St. John in the past, Earl McCartney would always have us stop and buy some as a treat. We then walked down to the hotel area.

Jean and I broke away from the group to look for an ATM, and a place to get a pedicure. We were successful with the ATM, but struck out at two places for a pedicure. One had appointments open tomorrow, the other at 1:30. Both didn't work since we were leaving at 1:30. Oh, well.

So, for lunch, we decided to get Beavertails and eat in the room. On the way to the food truck, we stopped at the Visitors Center to obtain copies of the walking tours of Saint John for when we return on the way home. On the in, we noticed that the statues we had seen back on the 15th had white paint splattered on them. When we walked closer, we saw that they were priming the statues to be repainted. In talking to the young lady at the Visitors Center, we got the story about the statues. The wife and daughter of the artist had primed them to be repainted. But, as they were doing so, they noticed that they were rotting inside. So now they would like to move the statues indoors somewhere. When I relayed the story to Kim, she said the statues had been in the museum before moving outdoors.

We got to the Beavertail food truck, and ordered two beaver dogs (hot dogs wrapped in dough and deep fried), and a Beavertail (a long flat dough deep fried, then toppings added). We ordered a number 9, which was cinnamonn, sugar and lemon. While we're waiting for our food, we talked with the owner. I said that this would go well at the Jersey shore, and he said there is one at the Jersey shore. (When we returned to the room, I checked the Internet and there are Beavertails in Wildwood and Seaside.) He also told us when he heard we were headed to PEI that his brother runs one in Charlottetown.

Back in the hotel room, we enjoyed our lunch while watching an episode of Andromeda. At 1:00 we checked out and boarded the bus. We made a quick stop to see the Reversing Falls flowing in the other direction, downstream. Then we headed out of the city. Kim talked a little bit about New Brunswick history, then played us a DVD about the province. For the rest of the journey, it was read or nap or both time.

We arrived in St. Andrews about 3:00 and stopped at the St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site. Kim said that someone is usually there in military uniform. But when we disembarked, there she was in coat and hat with a musket posing for pictures. The blockhouse was to protect St. Andrews in case of invasion from the US, of which Maine lies directly across the St. Croix River. The river was at low tide, and people were walking out on the mudflats.

We then drove around the town with Kim pointing out restaurants, laundromats, etc. We drove out to the end of the village where the RVs and campers are located, to see the Celtic Cross in memory of those immigrants who either perished on the voyage over, or while in quarantine. Looking past the cross was Ministers Island, where our guide Claire from this morning was married. It was the summer home of Sir William Van Horne, master builder of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

We arrived at the grand hotel, The Algonquin Resort. Very posh and majestic. It has both an indoor and an outdoor pool. The indoor pool has a huge two story water slide. A lot of people were sitting on the veranda relaxing or reading having drinks served. The hotel has a large complex. Our room, while small, it looked lush.

At 5:45 we took the bus down to our included dinner at the Harbour Front Restaurant. We had preselected from a set menu of haddock, chicken or salmon. I had the haddock, and Jean had the chicken. The meals came with a baked potato and mixed vegetables, plus sautéed mushrooms. For dessert, we both had the strawberry rhubarb pie.

We returned to the hotel on the bus. We grabbed our whisperer and returned to the lobby to have a ghost tour of the hotel with Derrick, a hotel employee. He did a nice job. He talked at various locations about a young boy, a watchman, bellman, bride, and waitress. We got a chance to traverse the tunnels under the hotel that connect to the dorms where the workers pay $4 a day for a room if you have a roommate, or $8 if single. A behind the scenes tour.

We then returned to the room to unpack and rest.

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